IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 16 Wisconsin looks to bounce back from its first regular-season loss in almost two years when it opens Big Ten play on the road Saturday against Iowa in the Battle for the Heartland Trophy. The Badgers tumbled out of the Top 10 following a 24-21 loss to BYU last week, which ended their non-conference home winning streak at 41 games, and they hope to recover from the disappointment by beating the Hawkeyes for the sixth time in seven meetings.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Wisconsin -3.5.
"The guys are hurting right now and we got to take that hurt and all own our part in it," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst told reporters. "We've got a chance to start with a rivalry game in the Big Ten season so we've got to learn from this and move forward. Iowa is riding high after starting off the campaign with three straight wins, including a 38-14 victory against Northern Iowa last week. The Hawkeyes, who haven't started 4-0 since 2015, are ranked second nationally in total defense, giving up 209 yards per game, and hope to put the defensive clamps on Wisconsin's potent rushing attack while treating their home fans to their first win in the series at Kinnick Stadium since a 38-16 triumph on Sept. 18, 2008. "There is a difference when you get into conference play, and anybody that's in the conference understands and appreciates that," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters. "We're playing one of the premier teams in the league and it will be a great challenge for us."
ABOUT WISCONSIN (2-1)
Alex Hornibrook threw for 190 yards against BYU to move past Jim Sorgi for 8th place on the Badgers' all-time passing yards list with 4,501 while Jonathan Taylor racked up 117 rushing yards against the Cougars to go over the century mark for the third consecutive time this season. Rafael Gaglianone's streak of consecutive field goals came to an end at 13 in a row -- one short of the program record held by Vitaly Pisetsky in 1999 -- when he missed a potential game-tying kick with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (leg) and tight end Zander Neuville (leg) are likely out for Saturday's clash while linebacker Mike Maskalunas (lower body) and safety Reggie Pearson (leg) have been upgraded to questionable.
ABOUT IOWA (3-0)
Nate Stanley completed 23-of-28 passes for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win against Northern Iowa en route to becoming the 13th quarterback in program history to reach 3,000 yards for his career. Nick Easley caught a career-high 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown while running back Mehki Sargent accounted for a personal-best 120 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. Ivory Kelly-Martin, who rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening win against Northern Illinois, could return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury while tight end Noah Fant is expected to play after sitting out a few possessions in the first half against Northern Iowa with sore ribs.
1. Iowa has won five of its last six Big Ten openers.
2. Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards 13 times in 17 career games.
3. Stanley owns an 8-2 career record at home.
PREDICTION: Iowa 21, Wisconsin 20